Established in 2011 with the aim of supporting outstanding poets from the upper Midwest and bringing their work to a national stage, the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry awards $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions to a poet residing in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Selected from a small number of finalists by an independent judge, the prizewinning poet will also receive a standard royalty contract, national distribution, and a comprehensive marketing and publicity campaign.
In addition, finalists will be invited to read at our annual National Poetry Month Party on April 26, 2018 at Open Book in Minneapolis. A public book launch and celebration for the winning poet will be held in November, also in Minneapolis.
Submissions Open: January 3–February 15, 2018
Finalists Announced: April 2018
Winner Announced: May 2018
Publication: November 2018
2018 Winner: Claire Wahmanholm, Wilder
“Full of wonder and bewilderment, cosmic vision and earthly pain.”
—RICK BAROT, 2018 JUDGE
Wilder maps an alien but unnervingly familiar world as it accelerates into cataclysm. Here refugees listen to relaxation tapes that create an Arcadia out of tires and bleach; here the alphabet spells out disaster and devours children. The result is a collection that both beguiles and wounds.
Rick Barot has published three volumes of poetry: The Darker Fall, Want, which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize, and Chord, all published by Sarabande Books. Chord was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and received the UNT Rilke Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. Barot has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Artist Trust of Washington, the Civitella Ranieri, and Stanford University. He lives in Tacoma, Washington and directs The Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University. He is also the poetry editor for New England Review.
Caitlin Bailey, Solve for Desire
“The work of a poet who sings, boldly, across the distances between us.” —SRIKANTH REDDY, 2017 JUDGE
Can one person be addicted to another? Can two souls be twinned? Georg Trakl was a well-known Austrian poet; Grete, his sister, was a musical prodigy but much less is known about her. Both addicted to drugs, Grete committed suicide three years after Georg’s overdose. In these imagined letters from Grete to her brother, Bailey contemplates the erasure of women’s inner lives from history. LEARN MORE»
- Poets may submit one complete, book-length collection, defined as a manuscript of forty-eight or more pages. The submitted manuscript must be previously unpublished, though individual poems included may have been previously published in periodicals, chapbooks or anthologies. This is not exclusively a first book contest; poets may be at any stage in their career.
- The poet must currently reside in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin.
- Only online submissions via Submittable will be considered. There is no entry fee.
- Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but poets must notify Milkweed Editions immediately by withdrawing their manuscript via Submittable if it is accepted for publication elsewhere.
- Multiple submissions are not allowed. Poets may only submit one manuscript to the contest and, further, if you have previously submitted a manuscript to Milkweed Editions and it is still under consideration, you must withdraw it via Submittable before submitting to the contest.
- We aim to ensure an ethical contest. Poets should refrain from entering the contest if their relationship to the judge in a given year constitutes a conflict of interest. Milkweed Editions reserves the right to disqualify any entries deemed to jeopardize the integrity of the contest. Similarly, poets published by Milkweed Editions within the preceding two years are not eligible to enter. Submissions will not be accepted from employees of Lindquist & Vennum, The Minneapolis Foundation, Milkweed Editions, or their families or relations.
- MANUSCRIPT FORMATTING: Submissions will be reviewed anonymously. No identifying information may appear on the pages of the manuscript. If the author's name appears within the body of the text, please omit it, black it out, or use a pseudonym (this may be changed and an acknowledgments page can be added if the manuscript is selected for publication). Please include a title page (with the author's name omitted) and a table of contents. Pages must be numbered. Please do not include an acknowledgments page in the manuscript (you will be prompted to submit this information separately via Submittable). No manuscript revisions can be considered during the course of the contest, but the winning poet will have an opportunity to make revisions prior to publication.
- Incomplete submissions cannot be guaranteed consideration for the prize. Milkweed Editions reserves the right to disqualify any entries deemed to jeopardize the integrity of the contest.
SUBMISSIONS OPEN: JANUARY 3–FEBRUARY 15, 2018
The winner of the 2018 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry maps an alien but unnervingly familiar world as it accelerates into cataclysm. Here refugees listen to relaxation tapes that create an Arcadia out of tires and bleach; here the...
The Trakl siblings were gifted and troubled: Georg a poet, Grete a pianist, and both gone at a young age. Inspired by their mysterious and intense relationship, the winner of the 2017 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is a keening...
Tula: a ruined Toltec capital; a Russian city known for its accordions; Tagalog for “poem.” Inspired by the experiences of the second-generation immigrant who does not fully acquire the language of his parents, the winner of the 2016...
Incantatory, intimate, and incendiary, the winner of the 2015 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is filled with explosive wit and humor. Yet even at their most surreal—whether taking as their subject a Kaiser Permanente hospital, Shark Week...
A woozy logic dominates these poems: a heart can become a buzzing hive of bees, a rooster can trigger a series of bombs, a young man can embrace a city bus as his spirit animal. The winner of the 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is a...
This prize is made possible by the LINDQUIST & VENNUM FOUNDATION, which was established by the Minneapolis-headquartered law firm of Lindquist & Vennum LLP and is a donor-advised fund of The Minneapolis Foundation.